Ariens to Sell Stens and JThomas, Lawsuit Challenges Lawn Care Ban: This Week’s Industry News


Want to keep up with the latest news in lawn care and landscaping? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

Ariens to Sell Aftermarket Parts Business to Arrowhead Engineered Products
Ariens Company has announced a definitive agreement to sell its aftermarket parts business to Arrowhead Engineered Products Inc. of Blaine, Minnesota. Stens and JThomas Parts are privately-held and terms of the agreement will not be disclosed. The sale is expected to be complete by the end of 2016. The company will also invest in a robust e-commerce platform for its niche outdoor supply brands Gempler’s, AW Direct and Ben Meadows. Ariens Company acquired Stens in 1995 and JThomas in 2008.

Virginia Legislators Honor STIHL Board Chairman Fred Whyte
The Virginia Senate and House of Delegates recently honored STIHL Inc., Board Chairman Fred Whyte with a joint resolution outlining his successful tenure with the company. State Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-8th) presented the joint resolution at a luncheon in Virginia Beach. The resolution highlighted Whyte’s career, from his start as one of the company’s first 50 employees to his community leadership across southeast Virginia as a member of the boards for Old Dominion University and the Children’s Health Foundation of Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. Whyte currently serves as the sole director and chairman of the STIHL Inc. Board of Directors, following his retirement as president in December 2015.

Governor Responds to Georgia Drought with Level 2 Watering Restrictions
More than 20 weeks of continuous severe drought in much of Georgia, its largest city Atlanta included, recently prompted Gov. Nathan Deal to issue a Level 2 Drought Response designation for more than 50 counties. During a Level 2 Drought Response, outdoor landscape watering is only allowed two days a week determined by odd and even-numbered addresses. Even-numbered addresses and properties without numbered addresses may water on Wednesday and Saturday between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. Odd-numbered addresses may water Thursday and Sunday between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m.

Lawsuit Challenges Maryland County’s Lawn Care Ban
RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) has joined six local businesses and seven residents of Montgomery County, Maryland, in filing a lawsuit that challenges the passage of the county’s lawn care product ban. The complaint is asking the court to declare that the law, banning almost all lawn care products for private property, is illegal as preempted by state law. The suit arises from the October 2015 adoption of Bill 52-14, which prohibits the use of widely available lawn and garden products on private and county property by residents and professionals. The law is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2018, for private property.

Toro Reaffirms Support for NALP and NHLA
The Toro Company continues its support of the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance (NHLA) – through funding, industry expertise, and volunteering. Toro supports the NALP with multiple events throughout the year, such as Renewal & Remembrance at the Arlington National Cemetery and the National Collegiate Landscape Competition, and also provides a discount on Toro equipment to NALP members. The NHLA also supports the green industry through advocacy, education and training, and focuses on Hispanic Americans working in the green industry. Toro provides monetary support to the NHLA, as well an equipment discount to NHLA members.

GreenCare for Troops Eyes Second Decade of Service
GreenCare for Troops, a program that pairs volunteer landscape contractors with military families in need of landscaping services, celebrates 10 years running. Will Krammer of Lake Elmo, Minnesota, started Krammer’s Lawn and Snow Removal in 2008. Krammer, a Navy veteran, and his crew have offered up their services to military families in need of lawn care or snow removal the past four years.

JCB Raises More than $90,000 to Benefit Early Childhood Development
Heavy equipment manufacturer JCB recently hosted its tenth annual golf tournament, which raised more than $90,000 to support the Lady Bamford Center. Established in 2007 by Lady Carole Bamford, wife of JCB owner Lord Anthony Bamford, the Lady Bamford Center is a partnership between JCB, the City of Savannah, Wesley Community Centers and the United Way of the Coastal Empire.

OPEI ‘Look Before You Pump’ Campaign Gets Refreshed
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), responding to the increased availability of higher ethanol fuel blends, recently updated its free consumer and dealer education materials for its “Look Before You Pump” campaign. Gasoline containing greater than 10 percent ethanol (E10) can be harmful to outdoor power equipment and other small engine products, including lawn mowers, snow throwers, power washers, string trimmers, chain saws, and other small engine equipment such as boats, snowmobiles and utility vehicles. OPEI launched its “Look Before You Pump” campaign in 2013. Digital version of the materials are free and available for download at

Read last week’s industry news here: Houzz Scholarship, PremierPRO Bermudagrass for WII Memorial